Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The C word...

Yes- it's official- after Halloween, we're allowed to start talking about Christmas! I'm a little premature but wanted to give you guys a chance to have a read of this and enter my competition before the weekend.
Last year I wrote a blog post about some of the wonderful Christmas crafters I discovered at the We Make Christmas fair  (like Forgotten Stitches' stall above). This year, you can start your shopping even earlier, with a special Pre-Christmas We Make London Craft Show on Sunday 4th November. Over 80 talented designer-makers will fill Chelsea Town Hall, whilst the We Make London team will also be showcasing work from the designers featured in their brand new book Inspired:London A Guide to Handmade in London.
 Organiser Mary McDermott says: “Enthusiasm for handmade products has increased in the past few years and with it, the desire to know more about the designers behind the products so that customers know that the products they buy have been lovingly made locally. Our events and our new book are designed to allow customers to actually meet up with the designers so they can have a uniquely personal experience."

Shoppers will be able to purchase a special Pre-Launch copy of the book at an exclusive discount. The book will not be on sale anywhere else until mid November. BUT- you can win both a copy of the book and a pair of tickets to the fair on this very blog!Just leave a comment here saying what you want for Christmas, or tweet me @katieantoniou with the hashtag #Inspired:London and I'll pick a winner on Saturday. (If you don't win and can't make the fair, you can pre-order the book here.)
If you'd rather make Christmas presents yourself, then check out the interview I just did with craft pioneer Perri Lewis for Run-Riot. Her new book Material World is a total must for crafters, with great tips on where to shop for supplies, how to tailor your own clothes and more. Go on, have a read!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Stepney Green Design Collection - The commissioned pieces

I wrote this blog post a while ago about the designers I'd selected for Vivo's Stepney Green Design Collection which I'm co-curating with Dezeen and the Londoneer. There were a couple of pieces that I commissioned to be made specifically for the exhibition and I now have images of these to show you!
Above is the beautiful handmade bear by Jennie Sharman-Cox- with a special, embroidered Stepney tattoo! 

And here's a gem by one of my favourite designers, Alice Gabb; she's filled a vintage writing box with her handmade stationery and vintage ephemera.
And below is a beautiful piece by the lovely Lauren Baker- you can check out more of her work at the new venue House of Wolf- I'm going for the first time tomorrow night and can't wait to see the art and decor there.

A selection of the collection will be exhibited at the recently re-vamped art deco Genesis Cinema in Stepney Green from 25th October until the end of December, with further pieces available to view at the VIVO marketing suite, just around the corner. Please do pop along and discover some new designers- as well as a lovely cinema!
Fairground lighting piece by Petra Storrs

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Eat Your Heart Out - the Morgue Years

Medical illustrator Emily Evans poses with an assortment of Eat Your Heart Out delicacies- leotard by Simon Preen, muscle leggings by Black Milk and wig from Annabelle's Wigs.

I've always been a fan of Miss Cakehead's work- she comes up with brilliantly creative ideas for all sorts of companies - I once spent a night (well, most of it..) in the Alcatraz prison she created for J J Abram's TV series. We've been meaning to work together on a shoot for ages, but our dates kept clashing, until suddenly she needed to pull together some images for this year's Eat Your Heart Out, her infamous 18+ rated cake shop. The images for the 2010 event went viral, with over 35 million views to date, so there was a considerable amount of pressure on us to create some really sensational's what we achieved! (The squeamish should probably not read on...)

Emily again, this time with a real brain saw we were loaned for the shoot!

This year's Eat Your Heart is all about anatomy- the cakes are curated by Miss Cakehead and Carla Connolly, pathologist at St Barth's Pathology Museum. The event aims to educate people about various pathologies, with profits going to the museum. Some of the cakes and cookies illustrate things like the difference between a lung with cancer and without, or you can buy a batch of STD cupcakes to out the feat of God into your teenage brother..
For anything to do with the educational aspect of the event, the lecture series, or St Bart’s pathology museum please contact co-curator Carla Connolly on

Here's Miss Cakehead, the creative director of EYHO, eating a marshmallow brain from Conjurer's Kitchen. Wearing leather hooded top by Rachel Freire, and skeleton leotard by Black Milk. Wig from Annabelle's Wigs.

Despite being pulled together at the very last minute and with no budget, the shoot was one of the most  fun and relaxed I've worked on- photographer Nathan Pask was just brilliant to work with- super professional but totally realistic in his expectations given how tight a time frame I'd had in which to pull some samples together. Everyone was really flexible and we just worked with what we had. It's fun styling non-models as they don't take themselves too seriously- as you can see from the final cake-fight shots where Emily and Miss Cakehead got a bit carried away...! Emily is a medical illustrator and senior demonstrator of anatomy at Cambridge university- anatomy fans will love her site. It was great to work with Carla and Emily; both stunning, intelligent women who are experts in a field dominated by men. In what feels like it has been a rough month or so for feminism in the media, it was heartening to see a couple of women succeeding at doing what they want. If you're interested in becoming a pathologist, you can attend a talk on 27th October-Pathology, not a dead end job; careers in anatomy, pathology and medicine, plus other lectures, all details here.
Another huge help was having my fellow blogger and friend Lucy Nichols assist me- she was a pleasure to work with and a dab hand with prop styling, plus a life-saver when it came to collections and returns, which every stylist knows is the worst part of the job.
Huge thanks also to the PRs and designers who loaned pieces to me at such short notice.

As above

Carla , pathologist at St Barth's, wearing all Rachel Freire except bustle and shoes. Headpiece by George Jenkins. Fleshcake by Leshie Loves Cake

Emily with chocolate skull from Two Little Cats Bakery. Wearing Rachel Freire jumpsuit, just seen.

Early entry tickets for EYHO are sold out, but you can still come along, you just might have to queue!
For bigger items such as marshmallow brains and solid chocolate skulls, you can order in advance here.
You can see the full menu, including prices here.
The event is 26th-28th October, 11am-6pm at St Barth's Pathology Museum.

Miss Cakehead in gilet by Emma Griffiths. Lung cancer cookie and giant cigarette by Natasha Collins. I used red lace and balloons to try and create the illusion of her guts spilling out!

All images:
Photographer: Nathan Pask 
Photo assistants: Andras Bartok, George Newton
Wardrobe Stylist: Katie Antoniou 
Stylist assistant: Lucy Nicholls 
Make-up Artist: Emma Alexandra Watts
Hair Stylist: Holly Rudge
With thanks to Steph at SNAP studios.

In the Metro

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